Thursday 21 June 2018

Driver ended Skype video call minutes before fatal collision with elderly pedestrian, inquest hears

Mairead Doyle (82) died after being struck by a car and inset, Dublin Coroner's Court
Mairead Doyle (82) died after being struck by a car and inset, Dublin Coroner's Court
The Dublin Coroner's Court

Louise Roseingrave

A woman ended a Skype video call with her sister minutes before the car she was driving struck an elderly woman crossing a dual carriageway.

Mairead Doyle (82) of Woodlands Park, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin died of injuries she sustained while crossing on the N11 at Cabinteely around 12.30pm on May 4 2016.

Dublin Coroner’s Court heard the elderly lady was crossing the road to visit Cabinteely Park. She preferred not to use the footbridge bridge because she had mobility issues and asthma.

Driver Taran Pyper said she was coming from the gym in her boyfriend’s car and took a Skype call on her mobile phone.

“My sister got a haircut and asked if she could Skype call so I could look at it,” Miss Pyper told the court. She ended the call while waiting at traffic lights before turning onto the N11, the court heard.

“The phone was in my lap. It was on loudspeaker. I said I’ve got to go because I’m going onto the N11,” she said.

The collision happened on the southbound carriageway of the N11 near the junction of Johnstown Road. Asked if she had seen the pedestrian at any stage, the driver said she did not.

“I didn’t see her until she was right in front of the car. I couldn’t have not hit her given how she was suddenly in front of me,” she said.

Witnesses who saw the impact said the woman was thrown up into the air.

Witness Mary Kennedy said she ‘couldn’t believe’ the elderly lady was crossing the dual carriageway in traffic. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cause of death was multiple trauma due to a road traffic collision.

A Garda file was prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions and no prosecution was directed.

A forensic collision report found the car was travelling between 55kmph and 66 kmph in a 80kmph zone at the point of impact.

The jury returned a verdict of misadventure.

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